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FLEOA Statement on Apprehension in Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2016
 
CONTACT:
Nikki Cannon
(202) 293-1550
 

  FLEOA STATEMENT ON THE APPREHENSION IN OREGON


(Washington, DC) – Following last night’s arrest of the leaders from the armed group occupying the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) National President Nathan Catura issued the following statement:

"FLEOA applauds the brave federal, state, and local law enforcement officers involved in the apprehension of these criminals.

From the beginning, this incident was a violation of federal law and should have been handled as such. The White House’s previous implication that this was a "local matter” was ignorant of the fact that the enforcement of federal laws on federal property belongs to the federal government – specifically federal law enforcement officers. Failing to address this incident for what it was – a large scale attempted larceny – emboldened these law breakers and placed all involved, specifically federal law enforcement officers, in the dangerous position of not having clear direction from the government about how it wanted to protect its property. This should have never been the case.

Whenever the federal government abdicates its responsibility to protect not only its property but the rights of the American people, who own this National Wildlife Refuge, it can lead down a dangerous path.

Although details are still developing and FLEOA believes that any loss of life is regrettable, had the situation been resolved more quickly via the federal government acting rather than reacting, this conclusion may have been prevented.

We now hope that with the sustained federal law enforcement presence, the remaining criminals at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge will surrender peacefully and, as only the United States provides, can have their day in court.”

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The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (www.fleoa.org) is the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association that exclusively represents over 26,000 active and retired federal law enforcement officers from over 65 Agencies.